Over the years, we've quickly run out of  superlative adjecttives used to describe game changing, paradigm shifting or simply huge shale plays.The only word that quickly comes to mind regarding the German shale estimates released yesterday are immense.

There's still only the original Reuters story out there in English (Bloomberg wake up!) but having had some conversations with German speakers and the link to the entire report above, it does appear that the initial estimates are correct.  There was some confusion over the German use of Billionen, much like the French  Milliard, which has the same value as a trillion (10 x12) in US and British English.

This is a translation of page 48:

“…With the present estimate the BGR proves considerable potential of shale gas for Germany. According to the applied calculation method of investigated shales the total calculated shale gas quantities are between 6.8 trillion m3 and 22.6 trillion m3. With a technical achievable recovery factor of 10% this will result in 0.7 to 2.3 trillion m3 of natural gas….”

Further to yesterday,  I must add that I left out the license area of 3 Legs Resources in Southern Germany,  see page 11.  It does seem to confirm that the only license holders are ExxonMobil and BNK in the Nortth and 3 Legs.

I know a bit about geology and a bit of German but not enough to combine the two, we'll have to wait for the detail.

One guarantee is that we'll soon see the doubters, whingers and vested interest weighing in who will look down tell us that this discovery, which to put in perspective is larger than the Marcellus and Poland combined won't actually change any games, (most especially theirs of course) because just like in France the peope are hostile to gas production and the government will follow them.

But not a lot of people, besides my readers, know that Germany has onshore natural gas production only second to the Netherlands in Western Europe and produced 10 BCM only last year,  more than Austria uses in total.  But here is the other point that even most people in Germany aren't aware of:

Shale gas wells had been drilled and fracked in Germany as long as three years ago. EMPG are Exxon Mobil by the way. So we had the dreaded shale fracking a year before Gasland even made it to tape, all in Europe's Greenest country.  In a state where the German Green Party was founded way back and who got 8% of the vote in the last election. 

What a surprise. Everyone flipping out all over Europe about the evil frack monsters and Poland and the UK congratulating themselves on being so ahead of the curve on shale. But someone forgot to tell the Germans.  The Damme 3 well was fracked and here are the ingredients

This tells me that politics won't be much of an issue. I would also guess that Gazprom, looking to lose 40 years of exports to Germany with a present value of at least $16 billion, will be desperately trying to make them an issue.  

This changes everything for Poland, the UK, France and Europe.  It's fantastic news, which guarantees some will attack it as much as some parts of the press downplay it.

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  • Martin Brumby

    A Milliard (French, German, whatever) is 1,000,000,000 or a thousand million or 10E9.<br />This is the same as a Billion US or UK (modern useage). I'm old enough to remember a "Billion" being a million million or 1,000,000,000,000 or 10E12.<br /><br /><br />Probably worth looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales<br /><br />Plenty of scope for confusion there!<br /><br />Shouldn't confuse our fearless leaders. Once they get to fingers+toes(=20) they are flummoxed. <br /><br />Except when they are counting profits, of course. (Or should that be prophets, like James Lovelock??)<br /><br />This may help:-<br />http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/ting-a-ling/

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  • Martin Brumby

    Don't know what went wrong there!<br /><br />I actually wrote:-<br /><br />Shouldn't confuse our fearless leaders. Once they add up fingers and toes (=20) they are flummoxed.<br /><br />Except when they are counting profits, of course. (Or should that be prophets, like James lovelock??)<br /><br />This may help:-<br /><br /><br />http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/ting-a-ling/

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  • Martin ,<br /><br />You may have been joking about fingers and toes but the numeracy of many of the population of the UK and the House of Commons really is that bad .<br /><br />If people were numerate much of the financial services industry would be out of business .<br /><br />Our MP's prefer to vote for projects which have not even been properly costed than confront their own fear of large numbers .<br /><br />Expressing the amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing in terms of gallons or litres is sure to panic concerned people . <br /><br />The industry needs to express it in smaller numbers and terms people can relate to , eg :-<br />- as the average annual consumption by n houses<br />- or better since wells are not fractured on an annual basis , the amount of water m people use in their lifetime<br />- the whole of Manchester flushing their loos x times<br /><br />This would put the lie to the misconception that "frac'ing uses vast quantities of water" .

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  • No better example of the innumeracy is the stink over a "victory for consumers" in the halt in the 3 pence per litre fuel duty rise.<br />The average car use in 2010 is 8430 miles or 13566 kms. My BMW get 5.1 litres per 100KM which would makes a 3 pence per litres "saving" a somewhat underwhelming £78 per year.<br />Yet the way the papers are going on about this, it's front page headline news!

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